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Appalling. Threw this down in disgust 3 pages from the end
on 16 July 2003
If you’re looking for something true to the style of Jane Austen—do a 180 degree turn and never look back!
This attempt at a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, as written by Elizabeth Aston, is found greatly wanting. This is no better than your standard paperback Regency Romance. The plot is predictable and in no way original. The pacing was also hard to endure--I felt like I was on a plane that suddenly crashed!
The characters are unlikable, and even Camilla Darcy is an unsympathetic character. The “romance” that occurs is both contrived and unbelievable. In addition, the author introduces characters with great potential, but does not use them to her advantage. In particular, George Warren is introduced with the potential for being a major antagonist, but he disappears as quickly as he appears. The author also seems to have misjudged the personalities of Mrs. Gardiner and Mr. Fitzwilliam—both were sympathetic and likable characters in Pride and Prejudice. You will recall that Fitzwilliam, in P & P, seemed to enjoy Elizabeth Darcy’s quick wit. Mrs. Gardiner, in P & P, is also presented in a similar manner—tolerant and affectionate. In this novel, Aston presents them as high-minded people who do not appear to regard their relations with any particular, sincere affection.
The author had a slew of opportunities to turn this novel around, but she didn’t appear to know what she wanted to do with them. Instead, we have a half-baked book here. She had moments of great potential, but ignored them.
Stick to Jane Austen.